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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  June 25, 2015 12:30am-1:01am EDT

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they were rescued on wednesday. search teams found the doors of the plane open and suspected survivors had climbed out. it took several days to find them. they've been taken to hospital with only minor injuries. you can always get to our website at for the latest news. >> on "america tonight": special correspondent soledad o'brien, brings us the story of an american hero who stared death in the face to bring back a fallen comrade in vietnam. >> you take every effort to get surrounded. you doing what you got to do. that's it. >> is that your motto? >> that is my motto, do what you got to do. >> also tonight. >> if there's an ep disemmic that's growing why would the
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state be closing treatment centers? >> i think reality is the state of new hampshire doesn't necessarily value treatment as much as they should. >> "america tonight's" christof putzel, the only option for heroin addiction. >> there are not a lot of long term treatment programs on heroin in new hampshire. you get more help in prison than you do out in the community. >> and thanks for joining us i'm adam may in for joie chen tonight. the rash of heroin has hit the united states pretty hard cheap and pure, in new hampshire, the state is struggling with record numbers of overdoses. induce treatment may substance abuse treatment has not followed suit. the new hampshire state prison for women.
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>> what percentage here in the yard are addicted to heroin or have a heroin addiction? >> as i look around now almost everybody i'm looking at. for the most part, everybody but about three or four people. >> wow. >> yes, it's just unbelievable. >> reporter: joann kane, the number of prisoners addicted to heroin has seen a dramatic increase. echoing the the substance abuse. joann's third time behind these gates, violating her parole. >> 15 years of heroin addiction, it was my first overdose. just a few months ago. yes. i pulled into a dunkin donuts, i kind of really don't remember.
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but i remember putting it in the spoon and pretty much that's all i remember. when i finally came through the woman said you are lucky, you were dead. >> when did you start to notice an increase in heroin addictions or opiate addictions amongst inmates? >> i think that's been relatively clear over the past few years, specifically with heroin and our female population. >> helen hanks, she says women like joe ann are creating a revolving door. >> when we send them back out into the community, we see used to be around 30% of people coming back have a substance abuse related violation. that number's climbed to around 40%. and a lot of that is heroin use and abuse. >> how often do you see people come back through these doors that you recognize? >> oh, every day. every day you hear this one's
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back and sometimes i feel like i'mgraphy that they're back because they're alive. because there are so many women, a woman left here on a friday and by monday she was dead and you know that's sad to me. sometimes when they come through those doors you're almost happy. >> why females? i ask conceptualize the enhanced challenge they're reengaging as parents in a different way than men do, struggling to keep their home, keep their children safe getting that job and establishing connections that are going to keep them safer and not coming back. i think female population just has more stress . and i think there is a gender difference. and it hits every gamut of society. it's not poor incomes. it's suburbia, it's upper class citizens, it's every socioeconomic class that's been hit by heroin addiction.
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>> how long have you been addicted to heroin? >> since 2000. for 15 years. >> before that? >> i was an international flight attendant for twa. >> you were a flight attendant? >> yes i was. >> her addiction began when she sought shoulder treatment for the pain she was suffering for years of flying. >> how long did you went to heroin? >> it didn't take long. i wanted to try it, and it was love. and shame and guilt and all that. >> how many kids do you have? >> i have three. >> three kids? >> yes. >> are they with you? >> no, they aren't, they are very mad at me which really saddens me. i know they love me but they give me tough love this time. i beg my mother, put them on the phone but they just don't want
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to talk to me this time. they want me to get it right this time. it sucks, it really does. i often wonder why i have this addiction, you know? >> even though state has an increasing number like kane grappling with addiction, new hampshire new hampshire ranks 49th in the country for access to treatment. as a result, the prison system has become one of the only treatment centers available. >> when i started doing this work 25 years ago, i could choose from any number of treatment centers to send people to. hospital he, detoxes -- hospitals, detosms, residential programs, and slowly they have gone away. >> heading up the treatment program. if there's an epidemic that's growing why would the state be disclosing the treatment center? >> i think reality is, the state of new hampshire doesn't necessarily value treatment as much as they should.
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when things dropped off or centers closed we replaced it with nothing. and when you replace it with nothing where do you send people who are in crisis? >> so they end up here. >> so they end up incarcerated. they end up here rather than on the street. >> it's extremely expensive. it costs $10,000 for a 28 day program. there is not a lot of long term treatment plans here in new hampshire. you actually get more in prison than you do out in the community. ws kind of unfortunate. what are people going to do, start committing crimes for treatment? there are a lot of programs and such a long waiting list. >> the influch of inmates influx of prisoners have already put the female facility
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over capacity. has everyone who wants to seek treatment able to do so? >> no. there are people currently on the waiting list for nine month program. but it is sort of a multifold issue. there is only one of me. in this facility in this building space is at a premium. >> doesn't it sowrnd almost sound a little insane that a state with such a heroin problem is ranked 49th in terms of its treatment options? >> new hampshire was one of the last states to adopt medicaid treatment programs, they've enhanced the number of treatments interventions in their states. >> reporter: and estimated 4,000 individuals are getting substance abuse treatment through new hampshire's medicaid program. while they were the one of the last states to
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approve medicaid law makeers are currently debating whether to reauthorize it. >> 325 people in new hampshire have died from heroin overdoses since the beginning of this year and another thousand people have been brought back to life using narcan. >> if the governor of new hampshire was sitting here right now what would you say to him? >> we absolutely need help now. >> how many friends have you watched die of heroin overdoses? >> i can't even count. just this year, i'd say 12. i've been incarcerated since march. >> joe ann is set to be released this july. she wants to regain at least some of what she's lost. she considers herself fortunate. she hopes this time around things will be different.
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>> the biggest thing is you lose yourself. other material stuff you can get back but all the years with my children that i lost being incarcerated how do you get that back, you know? that's what i believe is like the spiral that i continue to go back because i can't deal with the shame, you know? i never thought in a million years that it could be said i would be incarcerated, that in itself is just heartbreaking to me, you know very heartbreaking. >> christof putzel, al jazeera manchester, new hampshire. >> and joining us now is dr. jody rich, professor of medicine and community health at brown university. thank you for joining us, can prison drug treatment programs actually work. >> thank you, adam. yeah, i -- we have more people with drug addiction passing through criminal just
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justice systems than ever before. that's primary reason they're there and we should take advantage of as many opportunities to get these people into appropriate treatment not only for their own personal health but to try and get them away from involvement in the criminal justice system and get them healthier. >> if it were up to you and you had the power, would you be treating people in prison or would you be trying to treat them out of prison? >> sure. well, i think we need both because there's going to be some people that are going to break some laws and going to have to go to prison and to jail. if for nothing else to take time off of the merry go round. so there is, right now, we are addiction. that is our main response as a society. and it's not very effective. i think we need a national conversation as to say, why are we locking up so many people? because of course we are lock up more people than any other country in the world. and a large part of those people being locked up are being locked
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up because they have the disease of addiction. and i think we would get a much better outcome if we treated that addiction instead. >> dr. jody richard brown, thank you so much for joining us. >> up next. is cutting class a crime? it is in texas. that's where "america tonight's" lori jane gliha, found kids just for skipping cool. and soledad o'brien tells the story about u.s. service men denied the medal of honor just because of their race. and on the website, high risks and high rewards. wealthy investors are voting big on ohio
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>> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant development... >> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live...
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>> on al jazeera america >> a team of scientists are taking their inspiration from nature. >>'s a vital part of who we are >>they had some dynamic fire behavior... >> and what we do....
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>> transcranial direct stimulation... don't try this at home! >> tech know's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie... what can you tell me about my future? >> ...can effect and surprise us... >> sharks like affection >> tech know where technology meets humanity... only on al jazeera america >> in our fast forward when cutting class becomes a crime. chronically late students in texas had a choice, either the classroom or the courtroom. some of those students actually wept towent to jail. "america tonight's" lori jane gliha looks at a tough stand against truancy. >> i was nervous, sweating shaking. >> at 13 christian de leon has faced a judge several times. forced to go to an adult criminal court for missing school. in texas, truancy is a criminal offense, a class c misdemeanor
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that carries a possible $500 fine and the threat of jail time. christian is depressed and his mom says he sumps from he suffers from adhd, he likes school but just can't bring himself to go. >> as soon as i wake up, there is something that estimates me to stay home. >> his mother says he's struggling with changes at home. >> the with dors, and lost a brother on his dad's side. >> they paid more than $300 in fines and fees. since then she has paid more than $1,000 for her son's absence he. >> did that make your son go back to school? >> no, jut caused a burden, more financial struggles. >> if fines don't get paid, it
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can eventually lead to jail. >> that's the starkest examples of the school to prison pipeline pipeline. exactly. we're treating our truants like adult criminals. it means that a kid as young as 12 years old could end up in an adult criminal court. where they can end up with a conviction that can follow them through their lives without access to appointed counsel and many of the protections that exist in the juvenile escort system. >> fast forward, and truancy is no longer a crime. the governor signed a new measure requiring schools to implement preventative measures and support services to keep kids in school. critics of the old law said it simply didn't keep kids in class. up next: the inspiring stories of u.s. soldiers serving with honor but waiting for recognition. special correspondent soledad
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o'brien, with a look at her new documentary, honor delayed. and tomorrow on our show correspondent david mercer on the front lines in the dominican republic. a critical deadline has passed and thousands of of haitian immigrants now face deportation. >> investigating a dark side of the law >> they don't have the money to puchace their freedom... >> for some...crime does pay... >> the bail bond industry has been good to me.... i'll make a chunk of change off the crime... >> fault lines al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... they're firing canisters of gas at us... emmy award winning investigative series... chaising bail only on al jazeera america
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right now... >> al jazeera america you and welcome back. it took decades for some uf of our nation's bravest soldiers who served with extraordinary shallor valor to get reiteration. never receiving the highest honor, the medal of honor. melvin morris was one of them. an african american one of the first green
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berets honor delayed, how he faced death to bring back a fallen colleague. >> chi lang, vietnam. september 16th, 1969. what happened on that day? >> going back to that day, september 17th, it had been kind of routine. we go out and make contact but on that day it was a little bit different. >> staff sergeant morris was leading one of three groups of south viet flam ease fighters into a little known hamlet of chi lang. they were supposed to investigate and then clear the area. >> just by watching the helicopters they're fighting back and so we moved on in out of the village into the tree line. and family as soon as we got is into the tree line, the whole world opened up.
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>> hundreds of people firing thousands of rounds. >> reporter: vietnam veterans brendan ben lyons and ben morris. >> i heard a swarm of like angry bees go by my head and then a millisecond later, all this machine gun noise catching up to it. tree limbs are falling down leaves are falling all over the place. the noise is horrendous. >> reporter: up ahead, captain tommy daniels and team sergeant ronald adams were ambushed. >> i got a call telling me the team sergeant was dead, i asked morris do you know where hagan is? he said yes i do, i'll lead us in there. >> crossed enemy lines to get sergeant
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hagan's body. pushed back by a barrage of enemy fire, he was shot. >> not only did they get wounded but morris was wounded. that's where he got the chest wound. ben damaged the chest wound. >> his eyes, they were in flames. we talk about a guy possessed. >> i had to get to the body. so i said i was going in. >> reporter: what morris did next is not just a heroic war story, it was a moment of valor defined. >> he says to me, give me your hand grenades. i says you're crazy. he taps the bunker that are cleaning our clocks. >> morris single handedly be destroys the be force that had them pinned down. he didn't stop.
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>> you take every effort you can to recover his body. you don't surrender body to no one. you're doing what you got to do, that's it. >> is that your motto? >> that is my motto. do what you got to do. >> reporter: what he did was make sure the body of sergeant first class ronald hagan got home to his wife and four children in milwaukee. >> that a person that's been wounded once, would go back in there, shows an absolute not fearless, and this is the mistake that people make, this is not being done without great fear, it's being done because of greater love . >> melvin's squad recommended
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him for the medal of honor for his heroic actions. although he received a distinguished service cross he didn't receive that medal of freedom cross for 44 years later, until he was 77 years old. honor delayed, soledad, good to have you with us. >> thank you so much. >> any way you can quantify? >> we do know 3500 medals of honor, 88 to african americans 55 to latinos, and one woman. if you look at the numbers it seems way off especially if you analyze the presence of say african americans in the military. >> the number's so skewed what's behind that historically? >> it's hard to say. if you ask melvin morris there was a recommendation and it went nowhere. he moved on with his life.
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we know of the 1 million african americans who served in world war ii not a single one was recommended for a medal of honor. it's easy to say racism and racial feelings at the time played a role in this. and i think that sometimes it's hard to get those who eventually would receive the medal of honor to say they were discriminated against but they might say i wasn't sure. i'm -- don't understand why maybe it was discrimination. >> yes because so many are so humble, it does raise a lot more than eyebrows. >> what a great opportunity to sit down with men who literally decades after service, who were happy with the distinguished service cross, in some cases always wondering, i wondered what happened. but they did miss out. there are very specific and tangible things that you can gain by being a medal of honor awardee.
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there are tangible financial benefits that they missed out on, their families missed out on because theyer weren't recognized until their 70s. >> how did this be turn out that we're missing a whole lot of citizens here? >> they wanted to understand why the person they put forward for the medal of honor did not receive the medal of honor. the investigation widened and widened, they analyzed who did receive the medal of honor and what did happen for those people with whose names were put in for medal of honor never progressed. >> what happened to all of the men? you have to give away a little bit right? >> well, because the president has been seen honoring them, i don't think i'm really breaking news on this. but i will say, it's been fascinating to see gentlemen in their 70s who understand the import of the medal of honor and it has completely changed how
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they go around the country now recognizing as melvin morris would say, that he is a legacy he is a piece of history, he is a national treasure. >> a national treasure standing just a little bit taller. soledad o'brien, thanks so much. >> you bet. >> now to see more of these inspiring stories you can see the full documentary, honor delayed, a soledad o'brien special report airs this sun at 10:00 p.m. eastern 7:00 pacific only here on al jazeera america. that's it for us on "america tonight." please be sure to tell us what you think at or talk to us on our twitter or facebook page, we'll have more of "america tonight," tomorrow.
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